— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 15, 2017
You know all that support I threw Kevin Hogan’s way this past week? Can we please just brush that under the rug? Scrub it from the record? Pretty please?
The Texans took a 3-0 lead after their opening drive with a 40-yard field goal. Cleveland’s first drive stalled at midfield, but they were able to pin Houston back at the 4 yard line. They just barely missed a safety off of a blitz by CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, but it still helped force a three-and-out.
Shane Lechler’s punt got to midfield, but Jabrill Peppers was bold and caught it on a dead sprint, helping set up a 17-yard return to the 27 yard line. Unfortunately, the Browns went three-and-out, but still got some points on the board with rookie K Zane Gonzalez from 41 yards out.
Houston moved the ball with ease again on their next drive, finishing it with a 39-yard touchdown pass from QB Deshaun Watson to WR Will Fuller. It was a deep flag route in which Peppers was too late coming over to, giving the Texans a 10-3 lead.
The Browns got in the red zone on their next drive with runs of 8, 14, and 6 yards. After a delay of game, QB Kevin Hogan had back-to-back overthrows on flat passes, the latter of which was picked off by CB Johnathan Joseph for an 82-yard touchdown return. Houston did miss the extra point, so it was only a 16-3 lead.
On 3rd-and-2 of the Browns’ next drive, Hogan tried to hit RB Duke Johnson deep down the right sideline, but LB Dylan Cole turned around and had an interception fall right into his arms. Both teams traded three-and-outs after that, but then it was Houston who struck paydirt again. After a 39-yard run by RB D’Onta Foreman, the Texans were able to punch it in with a pitch forward from Watson to WR Braxton Miller.
Making matters worse, the Texans made the extra point, but Cleveland had two defensive penalties. Houston opted to take the extra point off the board so they could try a two-point conversion from the 1 yard line. That play was good, and Cleveland was charged with defensive holding to be enforced on the kickoff. Terrific. That gave Houston a 24-3 lead with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first half.
Cleveland tried a two-minute drive before the end of the half, but Hogan was picked by Joseph again on a sideline pass. Houston didn’t add any more points with only 11 seconds to work with.
Things didn’t get any better for Cleveland to start the second half. They went three-and-out on their first drive, and then Hogan was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety, giving the Texans a 26-3 lead. Houston took the ensuing drive downfield again, this time eating some clock, and finishing the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to WR DeAndre Hopkins, making it a 33-3 game.
Cleveland’s offense went no where, but on the Texans’ next drive, Watson rolled out and saw DE Myles Garrett closing in on him. Watson let it loose high downfield, allowing CB Jason McCourty to intercept it and return it 56 yards for a touchdown, making it 33-10 with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
With under two minutes to go, the Browns hit the over on the game with a 3-yard touchdown pass to TE Seth DeValve, making it a 33-17 game. That makes the final score look respectable to casual fans, but we all know how bad it was.
Hogan couldn’t muster the magic he had as a backup in previous games, and now we’re left to wonder what the heck the team does at quarterback next week. Cody Kessler, anyone?
Quick Hitters - Browns
- QB Kevin Hogan: 20-of-37 for 140 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT. 5 rushes, 36 yards.
- RB Isaiah Crowell: 12 carries, 58 yards. 2 catches, 15 yards (2 targets).
- RB Duke Johnson: 5 carries, 40 yards. 3 catches, -1 yards (5 targets).
- TE David Njoku: 2 catches, 0 yards (5 targets).
- TE Seth DeValve: 2 catches, 9 yards (3 targets). 1 TD.
- DE Myles Garrett: 5 tackles, 1 sack.
- CB Jason McCourty: 1 tackle, 1 INT for TD.